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lnhammer ([personal profile] lnhammer) wrote2013-11-20 07:05 am

Kokinshu #472

(Topic unknown.)

    Yet even for ships
that travel without a trace
    into the white waves,
the very winds are, I know,
bringing word of where to go.

—17-19 November 2013

Original by Fujiwara no Kachion. On the literal level, winds guide ocean-going ships into port -- however winds can also be, and in poetry often are, a symbol for rumors about one's beloved, a sense here reinforced with a pun: tayori can mean "tidings" as well as "reliance." Even ships get this help, but the speaker, it's implied, has heard nothing. (Contrast with #13, where the winds are a literal guide/messenger.)


shiranami no
ato naki kata ni
yuku fune mo
kaze zo tayori no
shirube narikeru


---L.